is a falcon a bird

Typically, falcons build their nests in tree holes or on the cliff’s natural ledges. Usually four or five in number, the eggs are buffy white with reddish brown blotches and speckles. The young are raised in the nest for up to 35 days after the incubation period of roughly 28 or 35 days.

Tiny birds of the Old World tropical regions are the falconets (Microhierax species) and pygmy falcons (Polihierax). They eat insects and birds.

Falcons fly swiftly and directly, their wings quickly slicing through the atmosphere. Some falcons habitually hover while scanning the ground for prey. Certain species catch smaller or their own size birds in midair. Others live mainly on hares, mice, lizards, and insects.

The bat falcon (F. . albigularis) is a small bird found in Mexico, Central America, and South America. It has a dark back, a white throat, a barred black-and-white breast, and a reddish belly. It preys upon birds. In the jungles of tropical America, the forest falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus) hunts birds and reptiles. A loud-voiced brown snake-eater, the laughing falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans) is found in the forested lowlands of Central and South America. The prairie falcon (F. mexicanus), a desert falcon, lives in western North America’s canyon and scrub regions.

The kites of the subfamily Perninae (family Accipitridae) include the cuckoo falcons, which are several species of Aviceda. They are found throughout Asia and the South Pacific, where they hunt mostly insects at dusk. Some hunt lizards. See also caracara; hobby; kestrel; merlin; peregrine falcon. Check out our exclusive academic rate and succeed this spring semester with our special offer for students!

The Four Keys to ID

  • Dimensions Make careful to consider both size and shape—the Peregrine has a long-winged shape due to its long primary feathers. Because males are smaller than females, as is the case with most raptors, Peregrines may cross paths with large female Merlins or small male Gyrfalcons. Relative Sizecrow-sizedMeasurementsBoth SexesLength: 14. 2-19. 3 in (36-49 cm)Weight: 18. 7-56. 4 oz (530-1600 g)Wingspan: 39. 4-43. 3 in (100-110 cm)© Dorian Anderson / Macaulay Library.
  • Adults have a dark head with thick sideburns, barred underparts, and an overall blue-gray color pattern. Juveniles have prominent markings, such as vertical streaks on the breast in place of horizontal bars. Despite significant regional and age-related variation, a generally barred and steely appearance persists. © Dorian Anderson / Macaulay Library.
  • Behavior: Peregrine Falcons use their fast, impressive dives, or “stoops,” to capture medium-sized birds in the air. In cities they are masterful at catching pigeons. Elsewhere they feed especially on shorebirds and ducks. They frequently wait for the ideal moment to launch their aerial attack from high perches. © Tom Johnson / Macaulay Library.
  • Habitat: Look for Peregrine Falcons perched or nesting on tall buildings such as power pylons, cliffs, water towers, and skyscrapers. Look to the skies if a mudflat teeming with shorebirds and ducks suddenly appears. A Peregrine (or Merlin) is probably in the area. Although they are found throughout North America, peregrines are more frequently found near coasts. © JeanTr Tremblay / Macaulay Library.

Or Browse Bird Guide by Family or Shape

Need Bird ID Help? Try Merlin

Peregrine Falcon Photos and Videos

Our free app offers quick ID help with global coverage.


What is a falcon not a bird?

A falcon is a type of raptor, birds of prey that include eagles and vultures. The peregrine falcon, is the fastest-moving of all animals. The Latin root of falcon is probably falx, “curved blade or sickle,” which describes the shape of the bird’s talons and beak.

Is a falcon and a hawk the same bird?

Falcons are smaller birds than hawks which are generally large but with shorter wings compared to falcons. Hence why it is common to hear of a falcon referred to as a ‘long wing’.

Is falcon a real bird?

falcon, any of nearly 60 species of hawks of the family Falconidae (order Falconiformes), diurnal birds of prey characterized by long, pointed wings and swift, powerful flight. The name is applied in a restricted sense, as true falcons, to the genus Falco, which numbers more than 35 species.

Is A peregrine falcon a bird or an animal?

The Peregrine Falcon is one of the most widespread birds in the world.